Wedding Vow Renewal July 6th in Villa Park, Illinois
Max and Fay Agree to 25 More Years
How May We Account for Differences in Independently Written Vows?
On July 6, 2011, Max and Fay finally arrived at the 25th anniversary of their wedding perfomed in 1986 by Bro. Charles Gilbert after a Sunday night service at the Riverside Baptist Church in Tulsa.
This year, however, July 6th came on Wednesday, which presented a special challenge. For the past five years, every Wednesday night about 5 p.m., Max and Fay have met at the Villa Park Subway Restaurant on St. Charles Road, because Fay's day-night work schedule at Weight Watchers leaves her with insufficient time to go home for a normal supper. So they renewed their vows informally on July 6th at their regular Wednesday night supper meeting, inviting only a few close friends. Googeling "vow renewals" uncovered tons of swarmy Googelese, but what man or woman of today could say such things in public with a straight face? Max and Fay are both first-borns accustomed to taking the initiative, so they wrote their own vow statements.
July 6th arrived on time, and Max arrived only a few minutes late with a fresh summer bouquet to make up for it, and after small talk over Subway's honeyoat-bread turkey sandwich for Fay, and tuna for Max, it came at last the proper time for the vow renewals. Fay pulled out her written statement, repeated here verbatim (with her permission, of course):
as we celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary
on this day by renewing our vows,
my love for you is stronger and deeper than the day we were married.
We came to Chicago only two weeks after we married
and we have built a life together here.
Through good times and not so good times, we've been together,
and our commitment to each other has strengthened and not diminished.
So, after 25 years of being married to you,
I can still say today that I do love and honor you,
and I will for the rest of my life,
as we travel this road called Life together."
Then, after a decent interval of appreciation and respect for such a beautiful statement, it was fully expected that Max, an experienced writer and editor, would pull out from his pocket a similar statement, but that was not the case. His well practiced statement, delivered confidentially in a matter-of-fact tone, went something very much like this:
"It worked pretty good for 25 years;
I think I'll try it for another 25!"
He later added this 25 years had been the longest, happiest, most stable and productive period of his life, as even his mother only had him for 17 years before he left for college.
Days later Fay confided that at the time she had been "somewhat irritated" by Max's short statement, and many people, no doubt, would agree with her, but many others, perhaps, might not.
So now I ask you, where do you think such differences come from? What causes such a big difference in individually written vow statements? Does it come from differences in gender, or upbringing, or culture, or personal experiences, or individual personalities, or what?
Can characteristic natural gender differences between men and women account for such differences in approach to the same basic, routinely ritualistic task? Does John Gray's "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" kind of typical type-casting explain differences at this level?
Or does personality analysis answer such questions, as in David Keirsey's Please Understand Me, or Kroeger and Thuesen's Type Talk, or the many other expressions of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (1962) derived from Carl Jung's Psychological Types (1921): Fay is an ISFJ, and Max is an XNTJ.
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Copyright (c) 2011 by Max J. Havlick, The Max Havlick School, a project of New World Community Enterprises, Inc., 16 W. Vermont St., Villa Park, IL 60181-1938, all rights reserved (30 min. from O'Hare Airport). Permission granted here to make exact copies that include the copyright stratement.